26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Michael Young, director, Caterpillar Ventures

Michael Young has been director of Caterpillar Ventures, corporate venturing subsidiary of construction equipment maker Caterpillar, since the unit’s launch in June 2015.

Caterpillar Ventures makes strategic investments in early-stage companies with a cheque size between $500,000 to $5m to support entrepreneurs globally to foster and grow their businesses with Caterpillar’s industry knowledge, resources and dealer network.

Parent firm Caterpillar’s areas of focus include three areas: construction industries, resource industries, and energy and transportation. Caterpillar Ventures targets startups in distributed power, analytics, robotics, additive manufacturing and business models to seek out synergies.

In addition to Caterpillar Ventures, the firm also provides financing and associated services through its financial services subsidiary, Caterpillar Financial Services (Cat Financial).

Caterpillar Ventures has about 10 portfolio companies, with the most recent deals featuring microgrid developer Powerhive and Busybusy, the creator of a software platform that enables labour costs on construction jobsites to be tracked in real time.

Caterpillar Ventures-backed companies also include electric vehicle and battery technology provider Fisker, smart hardhat manufacturer Guardhat, workplace robotics technology provider Sarcos Robotics, mining data platform MineSense Technologies, robotic technology developer Clearpath Robotics and business planning software developer Riivos (formerly Alight).

Apart from funding companies, Young has also overseen a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transaction in May 2017 when Caterpillar acquired its portfolio company Yard Club, a construction equipment management platform, for an undisclosed sum. Yard Club had previously received an undisclosed amount from Caterpillar in mid-2015 at which time it started collaborating with members in Caterpillar’s dealer network.

Before joining the unit, Young had been a director of corporate strategy at the parent Caterpillar for three years where he was involved in the company’s five-year strategic plan called 2020 Vision, which has included initiatives such as the seed-grow-harvest business model.

During that time, Young was also in charge of M&A where he carried out 12 transactions in both the US and Asia-Pacific.

He also served seven years as Caterpillar’s China-based director of business development of Asia-Pacific, including joint venture and M&A, in Beijing.

Before that, he had been at computing technology manufacturer Dell from 1995 to 2001 holding multiple roles in the US, Singapore, Hong Kong and mainland China. In Singapore, he served as a transaction associate at its corporate venturing unit Dell Ventures, where he led investments in four enterprises in Asia-Pacific – three of which went public.

While in mainland China and Hong Kong, Young was chief financial officer where he devised China sales and operations and handled Dell’s investments, operations, employee benefits, banking and taxing with government authorities.

Young started his career at chemicals manufacturer Ethyl’s petroleum additive facility in the laboratory while he was completing his bachelor of science degree in accounting and finance at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. Then he held a number of accounting roles, spending almost a decade in total at Ethyl. He holds an MBA from St Louis University.

GCV Powerlist 2020 PDF